There has been widespread support for an industry initiative designed to encourage younger women from all backgrounds to consider a career in finance.
The trade association PIMFA, has held the first of a series of online master classes in partnership with social mobility charity The Brokerage.
It has said this was one of its best attended events, with over 130 young women registering to gain an insight into the wealth management and financial advice industry.
PIMFA says this is part of its commitment to support greater diversity and inclusion across the industry. At present, research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) shows that diversity has remained consistently low in the industry, with only around 17 per cent of those working in the industry coming from diverse background. In addition there is only 20 per cent representation of women on executive committees and 23 per cent on boards.
Those in attendance heard from senior industry leaders including PIMFA chief executive Liz Field, Sarah Soar, chief executive of Hawksmoor Investment Management and Tracey Davidson, deputy chief executive of Handlesbanken UK.
They all claimed the industry had changed significantly since they started their careers.
Attendees also heard from female mentors including women working in senior roles at businesses including Close Brother, Openwork, Brooks Macdonald and Brown Shipley.
Among some of the issues discussed were the misconception that financial services is a male-only profession or the need to be very proficient at maths. They also discussed the need for a greater number of women to enter the profession from a range of backgrounds and future proof the industry with a diverse array of talent.
PIMFA chief executive, Liz Field says: “It is vital we encourage and support more young women into the profession and help them understand the range of careers they can access.”
The Brokerage chief executive Katherine Rudiger adds: “We are delighted to partner with PIMFA and to be supporting them in their endeavours towards making the wealth management and financial advice industry more diverse and inclusive.
“The wealth management and finance advice profession provides an excellent career path for our talented, young people, in particular women, from disadvantaged and BAME backgrounds. Through events and masterclasses like this, we can raise awareness and provide access to opportunities, that our candidates would normally not have.”
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